For years I used my great granny’s/granny’s/mother’s recipe for Christmas pud and very nice it was too but a couple of years ago I tried something different. Very Merry Berry Pudding. It looks like a Christmas pud, it smells like a Christmas pud but the fruits include blueberries, strawberries, sour cherries rather than currants and raisins. It can also be cooked a little nearer Christmas (like today). I used to keep trad Christmas puds for up to a year but I’ve never got around to trying that with this recipe so if you do resist it until December 2015 – you’re on your own!
Very Merry Berry Pudding
100g (3½oz) sultanas
50g (2oz) each dried sour cherries, dried strawberries, dried cranberries and dried blueberries
50g (2oz) each ready-to-eat dried prunes, apricots and figs, roughly chopped
2tbsp fruity liqueur
100ml (3½fl oz) sherry
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Butter for greasing
75g (3oz) shredded suet
50g (2oz) self-raising flour
125g (4oz) fresh breadcrumbs
½tsp each mixed spice and ground ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch each of salt and freshly
75g (3oz) soft dark brown sugar
2tbsp black treacle
1 Cox's apple, grated
2 medium eggs, beaten
50g (2oz) pecans, chopped (optional)
1 Put the dried fruit, fruit liqueur, sherry, lemon zest and juice into a non-metallic mixing bowl. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
2 The next day, put the soaked fruit into a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix together until well combined. Spoon the mixture into a 1 lightly greased litre pudding bowl (I use the modern plastic ones with a lid), pushing it down firmly, and level the surface.
3 I cook my pud in the slow cooker. I start with boiling water from the kettle to half way up the pud and I cook for six to eight hours on high topping up the water if needed. I also use my slow cooker to reheat it